A new bill signed into law this week by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) protects flag-bearing Arizonans from nagging homeowners associations.
HB 2010 says “Notwithstanding any provision in the condominium documents, an association shall not prohibit the outdoor display of any of the following:
- The American flag or an official or replica of a flag of the Uniformed Services of the United States by a unit owner on that unit owner’s property if the American flag or Uniformed Services flag is displayed in a manner consistent with the federal flag code…
- The POW/MIA flag.
- The Arizona state flag.
- An Arizona Indian nations flag.
- The Gadsden flag.
Other flags that homeowners associations may no longer ban include first responder flags, like the “Thin Blue Line” flag, and Blue or Gold Star service flags. The Blue Star service flag represents a family member serving in the armed forces, while the Gold Star service flag represents a family member who died in the line of armed forces duty.
“A lot of people want to express their appreciation to these first responders by flying the flag, but a small number of HOA’s prohibit it. This bill states they can’t do that. People have a first amendment right to honor our heroes,” said State Representative John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills), who sponsored the bill.
“I will continue as people bring to my attention the egregious actions of these small number of HOA’s from hell,” he said. “I will continue to protect people from unreasonable rules.”
Some flags, like those promoting social justice issues, may still be banned under the new law.
Kavanagh thinks that any flag – as long as it does not promote obscene or illegal activity – should be subject to protection from homeowners association action.
“There are some members who believe that because people voluntarily agree to join an HOA when they purchase their property, that they should be civilly bound by the contract they sign,” he said. “And that it’s not the job of government to interfere with a private contract.”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].